Turkish FA Suspends League Football Following Club President's Punch to Super Lig Official

Turkish FA Suspends League Football Following Club President’s Punch to Super Lig Official

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Turkish FA Suspends League Football Following Club President's Punch to Super Lig Official

MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca throws a punch at referee Halil Umut Meler after the Turkish Super Lig game with Caykur Rizespor. Image: GETTY IMAGES


Turkish FA suspends league football following club president’s punch to Super Lig official.

Following Monday’s top-flight match, a club president slammed a referee to the ground, prompting Turkish football officials to halt all leagues.

After his club let up a goal in the 97th minute of a 1-1 Super Lig match with Caykur Rizespor, MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca rushed onto the pitch and hit Halil Umut Meler.

“The matches in all leagues have been postponed indefinitely,” Turkish FA [TFF] head Mehmet Buyukeksi announced at a press conference.

“This attack is a night of shame for Turkish football,” said him.

Meler took a number of knocks while lying on the turf, which resulted in injuries, including a little fracture.

Disorganised incidents between club officials and players ensued as a result of the event.

Turkish Minister of Internal Affairs Ali Yerlikaya stated that “detention procedures will be carried out after the treatment” for Koca, who needed medical attention at a hospital.

Also, Yerlikaya “strongly condemned” the event and said that others had been apprehended.

Meler, who is 37 years old, is a top referee in Turkey and works for Fifa as an international game official. As an elite referee, he is also listed by Uefa.

Dr. Mehmet Yorubulut, head physician of the hospital where he had treatment, stated that there is now no life threat, and he also needed hospitalisation. A little fracture and some haemorrhage around his left eye are all that afflict him.

Our referee will be under observation till morning as a result of head trauma. Following the required tests in the morning, we will release him from the hospital.

Turkish FA Suspends League Football Following Club President's Punch to Super Lig Official

Referee Halil Umut Meler also received several kicks after being knocked to the ground. Image: GETTY IMAGES


The President of the country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the attack on referee Halil Umut Meler following the MKE Ankaragucu-Çaykur Rizespor match.

Erdogan expressed his wishes for Meler’s speedy recovery and emphasized the incompatibility of violence with sports, asserting that violence would not be tolerated in Turkish sports.

The home club, MKE Ankaragucu, regretted the incident and issued an apology to the Turkish football public and the sports community for the unfortunate event that occurred after the Caykur Rizespor match at Eryaman Stadium.

Caykur Rizespor expressed dismay over the undesirable events and condemned them strongly. They conveyed their wishes to the entire referee community, particularly referee Halil Umut Meler, for a swift recovery.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) took decisive action to address the incident and ensure the safety of Turkish football. TFF chairman Buyukeksi emphasized that football matches are not a war, and he called for collective responsibility.

Severe penalties were announced for Ankaragucu and its managers, with discussions scheduled in relevant decision-making committees starting on Tuesday.

In response to the “inhumane and despicable attack,” the TFF attributed responsibility to the irresponsible statements of club presidents, managers, coaches, and TV commentators targeting referees.

Criminal proceedings were initiated against those responsible and instigators of the attack in coordination with the State. The TFF pledged the most severe punishment for the responsible club, its president, managers, and all criminals involved.

Galatasaray, a prominent team in the country, called for an emergency meeting to address the growing issue in Turkish football. They emphasized the need for collective action to solve the problems within the sport.

The Association of Active Football Referees and Observers of Turkey urged all referees not to take the fields, emphasizing that the violent attack on Meler was not only against him but also against the entire referee community.

The Turkish Super Lig Professional Football Clubs Foundation condemned the attack and affirmed that clubs were prepared to take all necessary steps to prevent violent incidents.

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